February 26, 2014

Celebrate National Pistachio Day with Josh Early Candies

by Josh Early Candies

 

Every year on February 26, nut aficionados from all over celebrate National Pistachio Day in honor of the nut that’s referred to as the “smiling nut” in the Middle East and as the “happy nut” in China. The majority of the pistachios produced in the United States come from California, including the Pistachios ($3.50) that are lightly and packed into our 7.5-ounce cups. In fact, California produces about 300 million pounds of pistachios each year, accounting for 98% of America’s production.

Once planted, a young pistachio tree can take 7-10 years to start bearing the nuts themselves. After the long, long wait, pistachios are harvested in September by machines that shake the trees to release the nuts from the branches. It typically takes less than one minute to harvest the ripe pistachios from an individual tree, and you can tell the pistachios are ripe when their shells split open to reveal the green pistachio inside.

Pistachios are an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper, and manganese and a good source of fiber, thiamin, and phosphorus. Because of their mild flavor, pistachios are fabulous to eat as a snack – fresh or roasted, salted or unsalted – and are used in both savory and sweet dishes.

Now, we may be biased, but we at Josh Early Candies know “sweet”, which is why we love using whole dry-roasted pistachios in our Ultra Dark Pistachio Bark ($11.90).

The pistachios are combined with our signature 72% Ultra Dark chocolate, creating a harmonious pairing of salty, crunchy nuts and rich, satisfying chocolate. Each piece of Ultra Dark Pistachio Bark is individually scored into bite-sized pieces and packaged in a 9-ounce bag. 

Lastly, we would be remiss to celebrate National Pistachio Day without mentioning the red dyed pistachio.  Some may remember we sold red pistachios in the early 1980's through the mid 1990's.  Red pistachios got their start in the 1930’s. Before California became a prime source of the nut, a New Jersey importer dyed a shipment of pistachios from the Middle East because they had become stained due to antiquated harvesting methods. The idea “took root”. Pistachios were being sold in vending machines at the time, and the red color helped attract attention. The traditional red pistachio is seldom seen today, however, as more than 90% of the California crop is now left in its natural color.